Upper airway disorders are conditions that affect your ability to breathe. These disorders can be caused by a history of airway trauma (usually from have a breathing tube in the airway for a prolonged period of time), a history of tracheotomy, and even certain autoimmune conditions. In other cases, upper airway disorders are behavioral and require respiratory retraining therapy. Some patients with upper airway disorders present with complaints of chronic cough which may be triggered by overly sensitive nerves in the larynx (voice box).

Symptoms of Upper Airway Disorders

Symptoms of upper airway disorders may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath with exertion
  • Noisy breathing
  • Chronic dry cough

Specialty Upper Airway Care at Miller Plaza

At our Voice and Swallowing Disorders Center at Medical Miller Plaza in Winston-Salem, NC, we have a multidisciplinary team consisting of two fellowship-trained laryngologists and two voice-specialized speech-language pathologists who have the advanced training and skills necessary to treat your upper airway condition and improve your quality of life. During your initial visit, expect to undergo a video laryngostroboscopy. In some cases, you may be recommended to undergo an additional laryngeal control evaluation with one of our voice pathologists. 

Our Multidisciplinary Team Difference

Most upper airway disorders, particularly glottic and tracheal stenosis, occur rarely within the general population. Some airway conditions are multifactorial and may require close collaboration with pulmonologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, rheumatologists, and other specialized physicians. In our experience, we have found that many patients become frustrated after undergoing multiple medical evaluations, experiencing poor responses to treatment trials, and having difficulty finding a satisfactory explanation regarding their symptoms. As a result, patients choose to seek care with our laryngologists at the Voice and Swallowing Disorders Center because of their expertise and experience in managing complex airway disorders. Click the links below for more information on common airway disorders treated at our multidisciplinary center:

Upper Airway Treatments offered at the Voice and Swallowing Disorders Center

Use the links below for more information on available treatments and surgical interventions offered depending on the severity and underlying cause of the condition: